Daily Archives: September 1, 1995

Crows

This creepy little fable by Dorota Kedzierzawska, one of the most talked-about features at Cannes in 1994, describes the adventures of a neglected ten-year-old girl whose mother, a factory worker, takes off with her boyfriend. The girl kidnaps a toddler and treats her more or less the way she feels adults have treated her. As affecting as this is in spots, it often seems overextended, even though it’s only 72 minutes long. Still, you’re not likely to forget it. With Carolina Orsona and Kasia Szcepanik. (JR)… Read more »

Buccaneer Soul

This 1994 feature about a friendship between two intellectuals and writers in the 50s and 60s doesn’t qualify as writer-director Carlos Reichenbach’s best work, but it’s an excellent introduction to one of the most interesting and creative Brazilian filmmakers around. His artistic interests and surreal imagination evoke Raul Ruiz as well as the French New Wave. (JR)… Read more »

Nadja

Dracula’s daughter–and more specifically Lambert Hillyer’s Dracula’s Daughter (1936)–comes to Manhattan’s East Village in a quirky, lyrical independent feature by writer-director Michael Almereyda. It’s shot in luscious, shimmering black and white, with prismatic, pointillist interludes shot with a toy Pixelvision camera (also used by Almereyda in Another Girl, Another Planet, his previous feature), transferred to 35-millimeter without letterboxed framing. Produced by David Lynch, who turns up in a cameo, this offbeat horror item works much better as a dreamy mood piece with striking poetic images and as a semicomic appreciation of a few quintessential low-budget actors than as straight-ahead storytelling. In some ways it’s a throwback to the pathos of Twister, Almereyda’s first feature–a black comic treatment of various dysfunctional family members yearning for normality. With Elina Lowensohn, Martin Donovan, Peter Fonda, Galaxy Craze, Suzy Amis, Karl Geary, and Jared Harris. Music Box, Friday through Thursday, September 1 through 7.… Read more »

Double Happiness

This 1994 Canadian comedy by Mina Shum revolves around a 22-year-old aspiring Chinese actress (Sandra Oh), living in a North American city with her parents and younger sister, who has to choose between her ambitions and traditional family loyalties. I wouldn’t call the film an unqualified success–the acting is uneven, for instance–but I learned a whole lot more about Chinese traditions here than I did from the middle-class crowd pleaser The Wedding Banquet, and Shum kept me amused and engrossed besides. With Stephen Chang, Frances You, and Allanah Ong. Fine Arts.… Read more »